Call for Rockefeller Drug Law Repeal Propels Second District Attorney to Electoral Victory

Press Release November 8, 2005
Media Contact

Gabriel Sayegh at (646) 335- 2264 or Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384

Ithaca, NY- Yesterday, Rockefeller Drug Law repeal candidate Gwen Wilkinson staged a remarkable upset over incumbent George Dentes in the race for District Attorney in Tompkins County. This is the second year in a row that an incumbent DA has been defeated in part due to their support of the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.

In a bitter fight last year, political upstart David Soares defeated incumbent Paul Clyne in the race for Albany County District Attorney, sending political shockwaves throughout the state. Soares sailed to victory on platform that included repealing the failed Rockefeller Drug Laws and calling for expanded judicial discretion. In his concession speech, Clyne said he would have won were it not for his longtime opponent to reform of the laws. In recent polls, over 83% of New York residents said they think the Rockefeller Drug Laws should be repealed.

“Wilkinson’s victory shows that Soares was no fluke,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports repeal of the laws. “Sitting DA’s should beware: Support for the Rockefeller Drug Laws could bring you a short-lived political career.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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